TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR USE OF THE

HUNT COUNTY ONLINE CASE SEARCH (HCOCS)

BY DEFENSE COUNSEL

 

The Hunt County Attorney’s Office has permitted electronic access to criminal discovery by defense attorneys as a part of our current open file policy.  All criminal cases will be electronically accessed through a web access point (HCOCS) on the Hunt County Attorney tab of the Hunt County website (http://huntcounty.net/CoAtty/coatty.htm).

The attorney of record on a criminal case will have electronic access to the state’s file (excluding any attorney work product) through the HCOCS.  This open file policy is offered strictly as a courtesy to defense counsel in order to satisfy the state’s duty to disclose any exculpatory or mitigating evidence and in anticipation of any standard discovery order pursuant to Article 39.14 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.  The Hunt County Attorney’s Office reserves the right to terminate this manner of discovery, in whole or in part at any time without notice.

Any disclosure of information through the HCOCS is strictly for discovery purposes and does not constitute a public disclosure under any state or federal public information act, including, but not limited to, the Texas Public Information Act and the Freedom of Information Act.

You are asked to carefully read the Terms and Conditions before contacting the Hunt County Attorney’s Office in order to register to use the HCOCS.  By completing registration and receiving a password, you are indicating that you agree with all the terms and conditions of its use.

The information contained within the HCOCS is CONFIDENTIAL and is disclosed to defense counsel for the sole purpose of preparing the Defendant’s case and with the expectation that any of the information garnered will not be used improperly.   Defense counsel is strictly forbidden to:

·         Disseminate information to any person for any purpose beyond what is necessary to effectively represent the defendant; and/or

·         Utilize this information to harass, threaten, or otherwise intimidate victims and/or witnesses.

·         Provide printed copies of electronic discovery to any person outside of defense counsel’s employment and/or the Defendant.

·         Criminal histories may not be provided to anyone except the defense counsel or record on a case and said defense counsel must comply with the current Standing Order filed with the Hunt County Clerk on August 1, 2012 regarding the same.

 

Defense counsel accepts sole responsibility to ensure that none of the information obtained from the HCOCS is used or disseminated improperly.  Defense counsel accepts responsibility to advise all his/her employees or agents of the limits and restrictions contained within this agreement, with respect to the use of the HCOCS and to ensure that all employees and agents abide by the terms and conditions contained herein.

Any breach of this agreement may result in the immediate termination of the use of the HCOCS and in such an event; discovery will be complied with by inspection rather than by reproduction in all future cases.

POLICIES AND PROCEDURE FOR HCOCS ACCESS

Defense Counsel must have signed and submitted to the Hunt County Attorney’s Office, the document entitled “Agreement Regarding Discovery Information.”

Defense Counsel will be required to register with the Hunt County Attorney’s Office to use the HCOCS.  The registration process requires the attorney’s bar number, e-mail address and a password.

Use of the HCOCS enables the attorney of record to access his/her pending cases at any time and from any computer with Internet access.

Defense counsel will access the HCOCS by entering his/her e-mail address and a password.  In the event counsel believes his/her password has been compromised, counsel must immediately:

1.      Change the password

2.      Notify the Hunt County Attorney’s Office of the compromised password via e-mail at aarnold@huntcounty.net.

Access cannot be given to any case not yet filed by the Hunt County Attorneys Office or to any case where the defendant has not been arrested.  Access to a particular case will only be given once Counsel has notified the Hunt County Attorney’s Office that counsel is attorney of record by providing a letter of representation or if an Order of Court Appointed Counsel has been received.  Only the attorney of record may access the HCOCS for a particular criminal case.   Should counsel find that he/she does not have access to a particular criminal case where counsel is of record, counsel may request access by sending an email to: aarnold@huntcounty.net. Requests made on weekends, holidays, or after 5:00 pm on regular business days will not be processed until the next business day.  Counsel’s access to a case will remain open until disposition of the case or until counsel is no longer the attorney of record.  In the event that defense counsel is inadvertently given access to a case for which he/she is not the attorney of record, counsel should refrain from accessing the case and immediately notify the Hunt County Attorney’s Office at aarnold@huntcounty.net.

It is defense counsel’s sole responsibility to:

1.      Review his/her case discovery through HCOCS;

2.      Review the discovery prior to any court hearings, status conferences or trials for any additions or updated information;

3.      Advise the Hunt County Attorney’s Office if counsel believes information is missing or incomplete;

4.      Schedule an appointment to review any physical evidence;

5.      Request a copy of any dvd/video; and

6.      Advise the Hunt County Attorney’s Office via email if there are any problems with access to the HCOCS.

NOTICE:  Medical Records, EMS Records, Child Protective Services Records, and any records relating to the Child Advocacy Center will be made available for inspection by appointment with the Hunt County Attorney’s Office.  These records may be reflected in HCOCS but they will not be viewable.  To make an appointment to view these records, please call (903) 408-4112.

Juvenile cases will not be entered into HCOCS and thus juvenile records will not be available for viewing.  Juvenile Discovery will be made available by appointment with the Hunt County Attorney’s office.  To make an appointment to view these cases, please call (903) 408-4112.